Google's ongoing regulatory headaches in the EU have today resulted in a whopping $2.7 billion fine, the most significant regulatory penalty in the EU since the 2004 Microsoft decision. This fine stems from Google's handling of shopping searches and the way its own comparison tools are allegedly given preferential treatment. It's now up to Google to change its search practices, and that could affect the way it operates in other regions as well. Read More
Amazon will begin taking pre-orders today for five new Prime Exclusive phones from the likes of Nokia, Motorola, and Alcatel. As usual, Amazon's Prime Exclusive Offers on the lockscreen bring down the cost of the handsets considerably, making them a tempting buy if you're already a Prime subscriber. Let's break down the offerings. Read More
Huawei announced the Honor 9 for the Chinese market two weeks ago. Today, it's announcing that the phone is coming to Europe for a "global launch," starting some time early next month. The UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy have been cited specifically as launch markets, with pricing in the UK starting at £379, while mainland Europe will pay €449.99.
The Honor 9 will be available in two variants, one with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, the other with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Three colors will be available: glacier grey, sapphire blue, and midnight black. LTE bands for this European model include 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 38, 40, and 41. Read More
DIRECTV has just pushed a considerable update to its companion apps, bringing them up to version 5. The update is available for both of the practically identical phone and tablet apps and includes the ability to buy movies or TV shows, download purchases to your device for when you're not online, and easily access your collection of content. Read More
Some things really kill your confidence in Google's ability to fix bugs and make sure you can actually use the devices you have bought with your hard-earned cash. Case in point: there's a bug in the pin and pattern security locks on the Pixel C that the Google team has deemed "high priority" but that hasn't been fixed since January 2016. That's almost a year and a half, if you're counting.
The bug can be described like this: users who have set up a pin or pattern keep getting the message that their pin/pattern is wrong when trying to unlock their device. Read More
With Amazon enabling voice calling and messaging on its Echo line-up, the rumor of the Echo also gaining intercom ability that had circulated back in March was bound to come true sooner than later. And it's now here so all of you multi-Echo households can start, erm, echoing each other from room to room.
In the latest Amazon Alexa app (v2.0.1216.2), you can enable the option by turning on Drop In from your household in your Echo's settings and making sure your device has a friendly name so that people in other rooms can easily specify which Echo they want to contact you on. Read More
The Fitbit Alta may not be the coolest trendy kid on the block — that's the Alta HR now — but it's certainly still a good option for all-day activity tracking. It logs your steps, distance, and calories, automatically recognizes your exercise and sleep, and reminds you to move every hour if you've been sitting for a while. It comes with a small screen that shows the time, your daily stats, plus call and text and calendar notifications. And it has a very elegant and slim profile with plenty of designer accessories just in case you want it to look better on your wrist. Read More
When multi-user support launched for the Google Home back in April, the functionality was made available only in the US with the UK said to be "coming soon" in the next months. Now the wait should be over and multi-user support should be live in the UK as well.
A couple of Google Home support pages have been updated from, "This functionality is only available in the US. It will be coming to the UK soon," to, "This functionality is only available in the U.S. and the U.K." (As we've come to discover, for Google this means it's available for those who have set US English or UK English as their default language, so it's reliant on the language and not on where exactly you are and will thus work in other countries too.)
This means that you should technically see the multi-user setup card in your Google Home app and/or you should be able to set your Google Home as a shared device (as shown here) to allow others to connect to it as well. Read More
Quite a few Google apps were given minor version bumps today, but nothing has been all that interesting until it was teardown time for the latest release of the Google Home app. It doesn't seem to have any changes in the live interface quite yet, but there are a couple of things from the resources that deserve a look. To begin with, we have a status update on the subject of Bluetooth pairing. On top of that, it looks like it will be possible to set default TVs and speakers to be used as output devices for Google Home. Read More